“Hellas in Bloom: Creative Greece”
Thodoris Koutsogiannis talks about visual arts with Nikos Vatopoulos.
The birth of the modern Greek state, following the Revolution of 1821 undoubtedly turned modern Hellenism abruptly towards the West. Greek visual art, for example, —at least, at the level of the best-known Greek artists—adopted the lexicon and aesthetics of Western European art, operating in a context of transfusion—or metakenosis, to use the term coined by Adamantios Korais—which would continue to hold true for 20th-century modernism. The notion of “Greekness,” in terms of art and the broader visual culture, in the light of the post-Byzantine and folk tradition, would come under scrutiny a century or so later during the interwar period, with the so-called Generation of the ’30s, following the Destruction of Smyrna (1922) and the uprooting of the Greeks of Asia Minor.
Using trends and representative works, particularly in painting, sculpture, and architecture, as a starting point, the discussion will explore the historical, cultural and aesthetic terms of artistic creation in Greece, from the beginnings of the 19th to the late 20th century.